May this reach you in great health and imaan,
Dear shaykh, It seems in this day and age there are so many sects and divisions. How important is it to know Creed (Aqeedah)? What constitutes orthodoxy?
Wa alaykumus salaam wa rahmatullah
Ameen and the same to you.
The issues that normally discussed in aqeedah are very academic and therefore very difficult for the layman to comprehend. The most important fact of tawheed and the DHAT OF ALLAH JALLA WA 3ALAA is summarised in the follwing :-
أمنت با لله كما هو باسمآئه و صفاته و قبلت جميع احكامه
Translation:- I believe in ALLAH as HE is with all His names and attribute and i accept all HIS rulings.
Basically we have to believe in this and not dwelve in the minor issues which could confuse us and lead to many misunderstandings. Therefore if one believes in the abovementioned statement and refrains from likening ALLAH AZZA WA JALL to any of his creation in any form will suffice for his najaat and he will be on the true aqeedah of the sahaabah radhiyallahu anhum and the true salafus saalih.
Unfortunately people have gone into very delicate issues on the DHAT WA SIFAATULLAH and have become argumentative about it which in reality is dwelving into kalaam. The normal layman should abstain from involvement in such issues and rather have the basic knowledge mentioned above and make effort for beautifying our jannah with doing those deeds that will please ALLAH and bless us with the qurah ilaahiyyah (closeness to our Allah).